9
$\begingroup$

There is a question here:

What are the key questions you have to answer when designing a fictitious society?

Currently in the vote-to-close queue as too broad.

I agree, it's very broad... and it asks for a list which is a warning sign... however the question is specifically looking for key points which could then be further investigated.

Does the fact that it's asking for key points make it not-too-broad?

If the question was rephrased as "what are the most important questions to ask" would that change anything?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For what it's worth I'm inclined to vote for closing but thought it was worth having a discussion $\endgroup$ – Tim B Oct 3 '14 at 11:25
  • $\begingroup$ Or rephrased as "what points are commonly overlooked?" - although that may still be too broad... $\endgroup$ – trichoplax Oct 5 '14 at 10:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @githubphagocyte I'd say that's even worse as it's now both opinion based and too broad! $\endgroup$ – Tim B Oct 5 '14 at 11:16
7
$\begingroup$

I voted to close:

I've voted to close this as too broad, not because it's a bad question but because I think there are endless really good questions which could make up your framework (and thus a LOT of equally valid answers). If anything the correct answer will almost be a flowchart of questions. Questions for defining an aquatic culture would be very different to ones defining a land or air based ones

I've seen a few examples of questions with LOTS of answers recently where everyone seems to have an opinion and votes are more of an indication of age (IMHO) than quality of answer. It's made me appreciate a lot more some of the chat discussions of "Too Broad".

Questions like this are good for the the OP (because they get lots of answers) but not good for the community/mechanism because they attract so many answers which are equally valid.

I voted directly I was beginning to think that we were opening a lots and lots of meta Qs for questions we were unsure about. I think there's been an element of trying to avoid upsetting anyone and trying to decide as a community but I think we're reaching consensus more and more. Now more people have review privileges I simply voted and left it to the review queue to decide.

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

Does the fact that it's asking for key points make it not-too-broad?

No, the problem is that without setting any context at all in the question, there are no general key points. Absolutely any feature of a society can be an important top-level variable, and need to be in the key points list of a world where it could vary. That's because as Worldbuilders, we get to decide what the important drivers for society are, and we need to follow through with those consequences.

For example, on a world where there were four sentient races based around the classical elements of Fire, Earth, Air and Water, a key point for each culture within it would be which elements were represented.

However, I have asked a very similar question, and got good responses. I think that is because I scoped my question to be about describing a fantasy RPG world. If the question we are discussing here could set a less general top-level scope (e.g. science-fiction describing the culture on each planet), then I thinkit would be easier to make a start on an answer.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

At base, it's too broad for the same reason my "what are the crucial elements for designing a religion?" question is too broad. A very good answer or two may lay groundwork for future, well-scoped questions. But the question itself is broad.

What I'd like to see come out of a question like this, after initial discussion and closure, is people tagging the original in order to specify a narrow, highly-specific question about a factor or element that arose in the early discussion. Conversely, the entirely open-ended question -- "is it important to have XXX when I'm designing my world?" -- can be referenced back to the original and marked as a duplication (or commented, with a reference, suggesting either closure or an edit toward specification).

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .